Monday, 16 May 2016

When owls attack

Despite all of the nice things we've been saying about our owl population during the last year and regardless of all the food we've left out for them, it seems it hasn't been enough.

Last night they rebelled. At least I think it was the owls.

Having dragged myself out of bed at 4.30am to visit the Little Boy's Room Garden (I'm old) I heard some noises that I couldn't quite place. Kind of like sporadic knocking from somewhere nearby. It was nothing frantic and not loud enough for me to attribute it to human activity, so it was more puzzling than worrying.
Being half asleep and fully in the altogether I wasn't all that inclined to investigate either - and it was cold - so I returned to the shed, poked Dawn in the ribs and explained what was going on to the tuft of hair that was poking from the top of the quilt. Her barely-audible expletive gave the impression that I should forget about it... so I did.

Then, as Dawn was about to leave for work at 8am she found this.

Look closely at the pic, and other than the obvious mark on the front there are numerous ones on the upper left of the bonnet, the far right-hand-side of the bonnet, two-plus lots on the roof and on both wing mirrors.
The back end was just as bad, as were the sides.

It appears that at least one, if not a veritable squadron, of owls had taken a dislike to her shiny new indulgence and had spent some time flying straight in to it from all angles.

There were a dozen or more brown dusty thumps all along the sides, the bonnet, the boot, the windows and even on the roof where the attackers had been body-slamming as many surfaces as they could during the night. I'm no Chris Packham but I guess the early hour - I'm assuming that that's what I heard - rules out pigeons and blue tits.

Presumably stationary Audis are seen as a threat to (breeding?) owls, despite their inability to climb trees*. Maybe it was the shininess of the bodywork coupled with the full-ish moon that sent it/them in to a frenzy but we'll be keeping an eye open to see if it happens again, at which point we'll have to get either a cover or an eagle. That'll learn them.

EDIT: May 19
Courtesy of Google.
The ends of its wings are certainly of the correct design...
Dawn has been working away for two nights, but now she's back it has happened again. This time with poo and talons. Lots of poo and talons.
While we await an appointment with Mr T-Cut we're going to have to think of an actual solution - I'm thinking move it closer to the CCTV, cover it and possibly stick a fake hawk or something on the roof.
If it keeps happening after that, which it shouldn't, I'm seriously going to have to get the air rifle out and lay in wait if it turns out to be crows, magpies or pigeons. It's not ideal, but things are about to get expensive if the attacks escalate.
Meanwhile, a quick Google search suggests that peacocks can get a bit tetchy around shiny cars, but I'm not sure. We've only ever seen one peacock, which must have been around nine or 10 months ago, and if I remember correctly they're not shy in verbally announcing their presence.
More news as it comes in.

* Well, they can get up there but they can never get back down again, much like cartoon cats.

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